We remember James Doohan and other notable people born this day in history.
James Doohan inspired cries of “Beam me up, Scotty!” when he starred as chief engineer of the starship Enterprise in “Star Trek.” Doohan played Montgomery “Scotty” Scott in the original series and seven of the franchise’s movies. He was the first to create dialogue in the Klingon and Vulcan languages, and he influenced countless Trekkies who pursued careers in engineering. Though he found himself typecast by his iconic role, Doohan relished his fans’ love for his character and made public appearances as Scotty for many years. We remember Doohan’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1949: Jesse Jefferson, U.S. Major League Baseball player who was one of the first players for the Toronto Blue Jays when the team was founded in 1977, is born in Midlothian, Virginia.
1940: Perry Ellis, U.S. fashion designer known best for his sportswear, is born in Portsmouth, Virginia.
1937: Bobby Driscoll, U.S. child actor known for starring roles in Disney live-action films including “So Dear to My Heart” and “Treasure Island,” is born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Conley had bit parts on 1960s series like Green Acres and The Beverly Hillbillies before he landed the role on CBS’ The Waltons in 1972 that would last nearly a decade. Conley played Ike Godsey, postmaster and owner of the Jefferson County general store frequented by the Walton family in Depression-era Virginia. He would appear in 172 episodes over nine seasons and in movie reunions on TV that lasted into the 1990s, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. Read more
1923: Doc Watson, U.S. singer-songwriter and guitarist of bluegrass, folk, country and gospel music, who won seven Grammy awards and a Grammy for lifetime achievement, is born in Deep Gap, North Carolina.
Watson got his musical start in 1953, playing electric lead guitar in a country-and-western swing band, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. His road to fame began in 1960 when Ralph Rinzler, a musician who also managed Bill Monroe, discovered Watson in North Carolina. That led Watson to the Newport Folk Festival in 1963 and his first recording contract a year later. He went on to record 60 albums. Read more
1923: Barney Martin, U.S. actor known best for playing Jerry’s father, Morty, on “Seinfeld,” is born in Queens, New York.
Martin served as a navigator in the Air Force during World War II before starting a 20-year career as a New York City police detective. Martin showed a talent for making deputy police commissioners laugh during presentations. In the 1950s, he began writing on the side for comedy shows such as “Name That Tune” and “The Steve Allen Show.” Martin got his start in film when Mel Brooks featured him in “The Producers” in 1968. That role launched Martin into Broadway theater, where he appeared in several musicals, including “South Pacific,” “The Fantasticks,” “All American,” and “How Now Dow Jones.” Read more
1921: Diana Barrymore, U.S. actress who was Drew Barrymore’s aunt, is born in New York, New York.
1920: James Doohan, Canadian actor known best for playing Scotty on TV’s Star Trek and in the movie versions, is born in Vancouver, British Columbia.
1918: Arthur Kornberg, U.S. biochemist who with Severo Ochoa won the 1959 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1959 for their discovery of “the mechanisms in the biological synthesis of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA),” is born in New York, New York.
1913: Margaret Bonds, U.S. composer and pianist known for her collaborations with Langston Hughes, is born in Chicago.
1911: Jean Harlow, U.S. actress who was one of the top stars of the 1930s, is born in Kansas City, Missouri.
At MGM she discovered a hitherto latent comedic talent and was paired with classic leading men like Spencer Tracy and William Powell. Her on-screen partnership with Clark Gable lasted six films and yielded classics like “Red Dust” and “Hold Your Man.” She became a bona fide superstar, with her salary increasing tenfold. Read more
1893: Beatrice Wood, U.S. artist associated with the Avant Garde movement, is born in San Francisco, California.
1882: Charles Ponzi, Italian con artist whose name is closely associated with a particular form of swindle, is born in Lugo, Emilia-Romagna, Italy.
1847: Alexander Graham Bell, Scottish inventor known best for inventing the telephone, is born in Edinburgh, Scotland.
1831: George Pullman, U.S. industrialist who invented the Pullman sleeping car for railroads and founded the company town of Pullman, Illinois, is born in Brocton, New York.